Download the 2016 LACSEF flyer here for your classroom!

The Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair provides a yearly setting for middle and high school students to show off their investigative skills and creativity to compete for medals, special awards and scholarships. Students not only receive recognition for their projects but the Science Fair nurtures student interest in various scientific and engineering fields.

The fair, the oldest and largest event of its kind in the western U.S., will bring together over 1,100 student participants from private and public schools throughout the county during its March 17-19, 2016 run at the Pasadena Convention Center.

In late August, the Science Fair Bulletin with information and deadlines is sent to every public and private middle and high school in Los Angeles County. Science instructors/site coordinators are given all the necessary information about:

      • how to register for the Science Fair
      • project categories
      • information about the judging process and
      • information on Rules/Regulations for projects involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, tissue/cell lines, hazardous materials and microbes and the pre-approval needed for these projects by our Science Research Committee (SRC) through our Online Pre-approval Certification site.


non-descrimination policyThe Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair is an equal opportunity for all events, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, medical condition, national origin, race and religious creed. Judges & volunteers bear the responsibility to act as guardians and custodians of the students during their volunteering. Their familiarity with the students’ special sensitivities is imperative to the overall Science Fair effort to achieve an equal opportunity for all environment, free of discrimination.

Bigger and Better!

registration-hallway2In 2015, as of result of increased teacher training, increased recruiting at under-served schools with high minority populations and the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, we had a 26% increase in schools attending the fair over 2014!

happy science studentsThanks to the hard work and generosity of a core group of educators and school volunteers, parents, scientists, engineers, business and corporate leaders, including staff from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the annual Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair was once again presented in fine style!

Large donations from forward-thinking companies such as SpaceX, Edison International, Northrup Grumman, the Southern California Gas Company, the Professional Engineers in California Government, and the generosity of 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis allowed the fair to continue in a tight economic climate.  Over 200 people around the world and in other states also made individual donations through PayPal to support the kind of project-based learning and inquiry approach needed for successful student research.

Jr category awards-webIn keeping with the fair’s tradition of lavish recognition, there were scores of medals, special awards and scholarships handed out to those students whose projects are  judged as the best in their category.

      • At our 2015 LACSEF Awards Ceremony, we were able again able to present students with cash awards to the pre-recession amount of $100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place and $25 for 3rd place.
      • 1007 students participated in interviews, Interactive STEM Exhibits, and received over $50,000 in cash awards, scientific expeditions, scholarships, internships and special opportunities for all their hard effort. 104 students went on on to the CA State Science Fair in May and 35 students won category awards.. FOUR students represented Los Angeles County at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh in May and won a total of $16,500 in awards. ALL our students are already helping to Build a Better Future! 
      • The number of teachers trained in implementing and properly facilitating student research in 2015 for the 2016 fair included 202 teachers trained from 104 eligible schools, with an almost equal number of MS/HS teachers from all areas of the County.  Fifty-five percent of the teachers were from public schools, 32% from public and private Charter schools and 13% from private/Archdiocese schools.
      • With our strong emphasis on access and equity and teacher training, the number of public/charter schools (vs. private/parochial schools) registered last year went from  from 39% in 2014 to 74% for the 2015 fair, reversing the decline in public school participation that began with the recession.
      • To increase the amount of bright, innovative students entering from schools in impoverished areas, we implemented fee waivers and a sliding scale for high schools, allowing Title 1 schools and those with populations of 80% or more of under-represented minorities in science to enter the fair for free.
      • To make sure that all new students are adhering to federal and state safety standards for experimentation, we created an ONLINE pre-approval site for student proposing to work with tissues/cell lines, human subjects, vertebrate animals, hazardous materials and microbes. This has made the pre-approval process go swiftly, increasing pre-approval proposals for research from around 300 per year to 451 in 2015.

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